#AnneReadAlong2017 : 5 Songs for my Anne Reading Soundtrack

July 28, 2017

For those of you who don’t know, my original degree is in music performance. Yes, I was a performing musician for a while before I ended up in my current corporate office role. Trust me, it isn’t as glamorous as it sounds to be a professional musician, but it was a bit of an unintentional journey to my current role in life. But that’s life, right? Anyway– I have a keen ear for music and I’m constantly listening to something. As I’ve been reading Anne, I’ve found my background music has fallen into a steady rhythm. So, this month’s #AnneReadAlong2017 Top 5 post features the songs I have been listening to while reading!

Feel free to join in our Top 5 List posts and linkup below. Just post your link in the comments! For future posts, our schedule is merely recommended– you’re welcome to join in whatever you’d like whenever you’d like! New to the #AnneReadAlong2017? Hosted by Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf and myself, we’d love to have you along for the journey– no matter where you are in your Anne reading.

And without further ado…

Top 5 Songs for my Anne Reading Soundtrack


1 – Beethoven’s 6th Symphony: Pastoral

Ahhh, Beethoven. This is my favorite recording of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. There is something about the way Leonard Bernstein leads an orchestra which just captivates me. Why Beethoven 6? This is his Pastoral Symphony. Pastorale music is intended to be representative of the life of shepherds; depicting life in an idealized and calm manner typically intended for urban audiences. Prince Edward Island is the sort of physical place which reminds me of pastorale music, particularly in the way Anne Shirley describes her favorite locations. Plus, Beethoven’s music isn’t all calming long drones traditional to this music. Particularly the first and fourth movement I can easily associate with Anne.


2 – Bach’s Cello Suites

The Bach Cello suites are some of my favorite pieces of music to listen to. I can just get lost in the arpeggiated tones and space out for the two hours it typically takes to get through all 6 cell suites; absolutely and completely lost in the music. My two favorite cellists are Pau Casals and Yo-Yo Ma– obviously. While I really enjoy listening to the Casals version of the full suites, I found myself listening to Yo-Yo Ma more often during my Anne reading. The way Yo-Yo Ma plays has more sudden tempo changes and accents, befitting Anne’s sometimes fickle moods. Suites 1 & 5 are my favorite, so you get the recording for 1, 4 and 5. Check out 2, 3, and 6 here!


3 – Let It Go/Vivaldi’s Winter – The Piano Guys

I couldn’t mention the Cello Suites without thinking of another staple in my reading-listening repertoire: The Piano Guys. A duo of cello and piano, they became famous for doing mashups of classical and popular music. They’ve branched into original music as well as some more creative uses of looping, percussion, and ensemble music since they became a big deal. They also have some really wonderful music videos; these dudes really know how to perform! I strongly encourage you to check out all their albums if they are new to you. This version of Let It Go/Vivaldi’s Winter is an easily accessible mash up. I personally think Anne would adore these mashups. If you don’t know the originals, I encourage you to check out Let It Go and Vivaldi’s Winter.


4 – Summer – Joe Hisaishi

Joe Hisaishi is a Japanese pianist and composer. He is known for scoring the music to all of Hayao Miyazaki’s films (except Lupin the III: The Castle of Cagliostro) and many of Takeshi Kitano’s award winning films. He is an amazing composer and a beloved figure in Japanese music. I imagine that Anne would listen to this music and get lost in her own idealistic fantasies. I selected Summer, as I think the music he wrote for the Miyazaki films is more well known (if you care, my favorite Miyazaki soundtrack is from Howl’s Moving Castle). If you aren’t familiar with Hisaishi’s works, I strongly encourage you to find a playlist or two to check out. He has beautiful, catchy, emotion-evoking, mesmerizing songs. Songs like Summer are also befitting of Anne’s experiences once she leaves Green Gables. I find that this music is more complex and quicker to change than traditional pastorale music– perfect for adventures in Nova Scotia and byond!


5 – Dalmasca Estersand – Final Fantasy XII

Okay, by now you might have noticed that I don’t listen to music with words in them when I read. This is because I find myself focusing on the lyrics and I get all jumbled in my head listening to spoken/sung words while I try to read words. There is something about this particular theme from Final Fantasy XII which always made me think of Anne Shirley getting up to some misadventures. While I might have listened to the Distant Worlds concert in its entirety while reading Anne, I found this piece reminded me of her the most.


BONUS: The Anne of Green Gables 1985 film Main Theme – Hagood Hardy

Okay, okay. I would totally be remiss if I didn’t include something from the 1985 Anne of Green Gables mini series starring Megan Follows! The whole soundtrack I haven’t been able to find online, but I’ve listened to this theme more times than I can count! It’s beautiful and completely fitting for Anne Shirley’s life on PEI. I cannot wait until I get to FINALLY watch this mini-series. Anne with an E is also on my list, but it’s definitely not as high up there. I feel like I should start with the classics first.


Other Top 5 Songs for My Anne Reading Soundtrack Lists

Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf

What do you think?

  • Do you listen to music while you read? If so, what types of music do you lean towards? If not, why?
  • What are your favorite music genres?
  • What music do you think modern Anne Shirley would be into?


  • KrystiYAandWine July 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    What a fun playlist! My mind can’t handle reading and listening to music all at once, but I wish it could! It sounds like a great way to enhance the experience.

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 11:27 am

      I totally understand that! This is why I can’t handle anything other than music without lyrics. I used to not be able to listen to music at all while reading. But, at work we have white noise pumped into our cube spaces. I hate it. It makes me anxious and aggressive. I get it– we have it to help keep the call center noise down. But I am sitting on a different floor! *sigh* Anyway, I started listening to music while I worked to distract from that white noise sound. It helped a lot with my anxiety and now I find I can listen to music and read. 😀

      • KrystiYAandWine August 1, 2017 at 3:40 pm

        That makes sense. Yeah, it makes me anxious at work too. I take earbuds just to drown out the noise. That’s awesome you can listen and read now too. I do think it would be. Particularly if you could use an author playlist while you’re reading.

        • Jackie B August 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

          That’s something I’ve only recently started doing– developing my own playlists for specific books. It’s really fun. I’d love to see more authors create and share their own playlists too. Have you seen many? I only know of Stephanie Meyer’s playlists she put together and shared for Twilight.

          • KrystiYAandWine August 4, 2017 at 2:55 pm

            I’ve seen tons of authors post playlists honestly. I think it’s probably a really big thing in YA, so I’m not sure about other genres. I actually just did an author guest post with Rebecca Philips of her playlist for her book. 🙂

  • Laila@BigReadingLife July 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Very cool! I don’t listen to music as I read but a lot of times I’ll have a baseball game on as background noise at night! my husband works at night and I don’t like it to be too quiet, even while I read. 🙂

    I love music and my tastes are all over the place. And they’ve changed over the years of course. I realized yesterday that I used to listen to a lot of folky singer-songwriter types 10-15 years ago, but now I hardly ever listen to the anymore! I seem to be listening to more pop, dance, and hip-hop music now – and I think that iTunes has something to do with that! I download songs now for my workout playlist, but almost never download full albums. I’ve realized that I miss listening to full albums! So I’ve been digging out some of my old CDs lately.

    • Jackie B August 3, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks! Hey, even having some sort of background noise totally counts as music. I’d get distracted with all the words though. 😉

      Technology has certainly changed the way we consume and find music! I personally subscribe to Spotify and I’m constantly finding new artists and genres I never would have discovered otherwise. I’m glad you’re still listening to full albums, however. Artists often spend hundreds of hours perfecting how the music will sound as a cohesive collection in an album format. There are some really great full albums. I hope you’re finding those old CD’s hit the spot!

  • theorangutanlibrarian August 1, 2017 at 11:37 am

    This list is just sublime!! Beethoven, Bach and the Piano Guys all in one post!! (also that just so happens to be my absolute favourite Piano guys piece and my favourite version of let it go all in one!!) I really liked the last two as well (I feel like Joe Hisaishi deserves to be listened to on a loop!!), though I didn’t know them too 😀 Basically you have fantastic taste!! This post was so fun to read (and listen to)!! 😀
    I get what you mean about not listening to music with lyrics while you read- I’m the same (if I ever listen to something while reading, which is rare)

    • Jackie B August 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you so much!! That makes me feel great knowing we share some awesome musical tastes. I actually listen to a lot of Hisaishi on loop, actually! There are some great Spotify and YouTube playlists featuring his works. I can really get lost in the complexity of his music.

      • theorangutanlibrarian August 4, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        You’re welcome!!! Yes I love finding people that like similar music to me 😀 That makes a lot of sense!! 😀

  • Grab the Lapels August 3, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Okiedokie, this post made me all antsy! Here’s why:
    #1 I started college as a music performance major on the violin. IT WAS AWFUL. Sounds like you had a better go of it (and maybe even finished your degree in music??)

    #2 Leonard Bernstein is just tops. I used to watch this show on some obscure channel in which he was have the orchestra perform, and then he would deconstruct his choices and how he’s leading the orchestra. It was old enough that the show was in black and white!

    #3 I remember when everyone lost their damn minds over Yo-Yo Ma, and i always thought it was strange because there are so many cello players in the world. Personally, I fell in love with the cello players in Apocalyptica, who started as a group that played Metallica for four cells. Definitely more metal, and they stand up more than that sit down (all while headbanging, too).

    #4 I love, love Miyazaki films. How’s Moving Castle always brought out a lot of emotion in me because the girl/granny is so kind, the fire is so feisty, and the prince is a big dumpy diapers. My husband said there is a Miyazaki movie he never, ever wants me to watch. Something lanterns, I think? He said it’s the kind of film that leaves you heaving and ugly sobbing at the end, and I don’t need that kind of emotion in my soul.

    • Jackie B August 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Antsy in a good way?! I hope so!

      YES! You were a violin performance major?! I am super impressed. The violin is so hard! I can play a good D major scale and that’s about it. But for some reason the other bowed string instruments seem to come more easily to me? No one understands that.

      I did have a better go at it, I guess. I finished my performance degree and realized, after about 9 months of gigs and living in my parent’s basement without insurance, that I was too much a Type-A Planner to live this way. So, I go my Music Ed degree. I had been teaching my whole way through school; I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me earlier. I still play, just not often as a professional.

      Leonard Bernstein and Fredrick Fennell are my favorite conductors of all time. I adore watching them conduct. Do you know what that show was? I’d love to hunt down some old episodes and listen to Bernstein deconstruct his work!

      I *love* Apocalyptica! They aren’t really appropriate for Anne-themed music, but both them and 2Cellos are on my frequently-listened to lists. They are both really engaging ensembles. Like I mentioned in my post, Casals is my favorite cellist, but finding great recordings by today’s standards is a challenge.

      “and the prince is a bug dumpy diaper” HAHAHA SO TRUE. Hm. I have seen all of Miyazaki’s works and none of them have lanterns in the title. He might be referring to Grave of the Fireflies. That’s a Studio Ghibli film, but Miyazaki didn’t work on that one. It’s a meditation on the cost of war following two Japanese children who are separated by their parents during the firebombing of Kobe in WWII. It makes me ugly cry every time. But, I also ugly cry during Princess Mononoke for happy reasons, so it could be something else… Still, the Miyazaki movies are my favorites. They are brilliant and wonderful and filled with hope.

      • Grab the Lapels August 5, 2017 at 9:24 am

        I was all antsy because I had some many comments to make even before I finished the post, and I didn’t want to forget any. I meant to write the prince is a big dumpy diapers, but “bug” works, too! Why not, it’s fantasy 😉 I’m not sure what the name of the Berstein show was, but you might be able to find something on YouTube. You are right, it is Grave of the Fireflies (I knew the title had something that lit up!). Princess Mononoke was my first favorite, possibly because when it came out HBO played it over and over again, so I saw it a lot (summer breaks in school were slow for me).

        • Jackie B August 6, 2017 at 10:44 pm

          Hahaha! I totally understand that. I find that I often have to take notes when I’m reading blog posts for certain bloggers, present company included, to keep up with my thoughts while reading.

          I like bug. We’re keeping it for sure. It’ll be added to my “childish but amazing” insult list. It’s a runner up to a family classic: Poopy diaper head. Gotta love that one.

          The Bernstein show is the Young People’s concerts! Oh man. I will now binge watch everything on YouTube and stay up far too late. I am super excited.

          Bam. I know QUITE a bit about Studio Ghibli films. In fact, wedding planning includes quite a bit of chatting about Ghibli-related potential decorations and photo booth props. Super psyched.

          • Grab the Lapels August 7, 2017 at 1:56 pm

            You’re getting married?!

            • Jackie B August 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm

              I am! We got engaged in November and we will be married this coming March. Wedding planning is… challenging. I’m super excited for a kick ass party, but I am less excited about project managing this whole thing. O_o

              • Grab the Lapels August 9, 2017 at 9:22 am

                Bit of advice: it never goes how you think it will, but at the end of the day, you’re married. Second bit of advice: don’t save that tiny top cake for your one-year anniversary because it will be gross, so just eat it for breakfast. I love weddings! Third bit of advice: find a venue for the reception that already looks nice, so you don’t have to get all micro-manager over decorations.

              • Jackie B August 9, 2017 at 9:49 am

                You make me so happy. Any and all wedding advice is welcome, always. And we aren’t doing cake. Because cake is disappointing more than it’s satisfying. Cup desserts: Mousse, tiramisu, creme brulee in mini sizes. #DessertGoals

                And ugh. Decorations sound exhausting. Just thinking about it is a tad overwhelming. I know we will have to worry about centerpieces, but I don’t know about what else we might have. I honestly haven’t gotten that far yet. O_o So much to do! So little time.

              • Grab the Lapels August 9, 2017 at 12:28 pm

                Start by reserving venues. They book up super fast, though the fact that you are not getting married in the summer will work to your benefit. I also like the mini desserts idea. I’ve seen people have different types of cupcakes, desserts that sound like their name (e.g. bananas foster for someone with the last name Foster), lots of ideas! For your guests’ happiness, I would also recommend getting married and then having the reception immediately afterward (around dinner time). If you have them hours apart, like most people do, many people will skip your wedding and just come to the reception, or they will do both and get very hangry in between.

              • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 9:38 am

                We just booked the venue yesterday! The hotel blocks are proving to be more of the challenge, honestly. O_o But I should expect these sorts of things.

                We are having a brunch wedding. Ceremony at 11:30, 60 minutes of ceremony. Cocktail hour at the venue, 15 minutes away, at 1pm. I’m hopeful that will keep people from getting hangry. I am certainly a hangry culprit often. I carry purse snacks for this reason.

              • Grab the Lapels August 10, 2017 at 10:53 am

                Hmmm, we didn’t do hotel stuff for our wedding, so I don’t have any input for that. I think the 11:30 wedding and 1:00 reception sounds wonderful! Nice job!

              • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 12:05 pm

                Thanks! There are so many details to figure out… It’s so complicated!

                If there was one thing you did which you would encourage all couples to do for their wedding, what would it be?

              • Grab the Lapels August 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm

                For me it was definitely having the venue that already looks nice so you don’t have to worry about details. We were about 3 1/2 hours away from our families and where we were getting married, so planning from afar made us limit our choices. One thing we screwed up was sending out wedding invitations (like, literally, that’s it) and forgot to include info about the reception on them. So, anyone who sent back the wedding invite with a “Yes, we’re coming” got a post card that was like, “Cool! Now that you’ve drank the Kool-aid, we’ll give you deets on the reception.” Okay, that’s a paraphrase, but it’s definitely how it came off. My mother-in-law was so mad and kept saying she was humiliated, but I tend to not, erm, listen to her.

                Oh! I sent you a Twitter DM with my e-mail address 🙂

              • Jackie B August 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm

                Hahaha! I love that fix. How perfect! My mother-in-law really wants to help out, but, well, we’re struggling to find ways to include her. She worked as a regional manager for David’s Bridal for 15 years and has no daughters… so, she’s ready to jump in with anything. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully my family will stay calm!

                Expect an email soon! 😀

              • Grab the Lapels August 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm

                One more thing: we got married in the thick of the recession (2009), so we did not do a gift registration. Everyone gave us money, and I was happy that they gave what they could/wanted and didn’t have to meet our demands for expensive matching gravy boats or new crystal ware, or whatever else. I’ve found that over the years when I look at someone’s gift registry (no matter the even), they choose things that they themselves wouldn’t buy due to price, but hope someone else will. When I go shopping with those lists, I always leave the store feeling god-awful. Like, if my goal is to spend $20 on someone because I like them but haven’t seen them in years then find out everything on their gift registry is $30+ I end up giving them $20 cash. It makes me feel cheap and bad. So, I didn’t want to do that to someone else.

              • Jackie B August 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm

                The whole registry thing stresses us out some. We also don’t want stuff– but it’s important to both sets of parents we have physical registeries. Why? Because “grandma wants to buy you a gravy boat”. We’re looking into something similar to a honeymoon registry where we can ask people to all go in together to buy our Kitchenaid Mixer or whatever. We start the registry journey tomorrow. O_o

              • Grab the Lapels August 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

                GOOD LUCK. And if grandma’s wants to buy a gravy boat, she should just buy one! I don’t think my parents had a gift registry, either.

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